Oh, Barrels of Wasted Starbucks

One of the many Starbucks at the Chicago Airport

For the past seven hours I’ve been sitting in Terminal K of the Chicago International Airport. My flight has been deemed unsafe to fly. We are here to wait for the next plane to come from Europe.

There are only so many times one can walk around and around. So I bought a grande and parked myself at a Starbucks.

Pretty quickly, I noticed that several customers are doing something peculiar. So I watched and counted: 18 people went to the counter to get cream and sugar.  16 of them opened the lid and poured some coffee into the trash bin.

16/18 = 89%

That means, the majority of the customers feel that they have too much coffee in their cups.  If each of them discarded 2 oz of coffee, these 16 people alone just wasted two grandes.

I don’t know how many customers this Starbucks serves per day. A lot, I imagine. 

My question is, how would these 89% of customers react, if they opened the lids and found that their cups are filled only 3/4 full? Would consumers prefer not to have to dump coffee themselves, or, would we rather get a cup filled to the brim so we get  our  money’s worth?


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